What does a reluctance to develop young talent mean for businesses?

February 12th 2021 | Posted by phil scott

Some businesses are reluctant to embrace the development of young talent preferring to look for individuals who already have the skills and experience that they need.

The danger of having this approach is that businesses can miss out on the benefits that talent development can bring.

Top HR professionals recognise the disadvantages that can come with a reluctance to develop young talent. They advise senior managers on what this reluctance means for the business and why developing a talent pipeline makes good sense.

Why may some businesses be reluctant to hire younger people?

There are some common reasons that businesses give as to why they do not embrace the opportunity to hire young talent that they can develop. These reasons are generally:

  • Graduates lack the understanding of dress and behaviour requirements that are needed in the business.
  • Young people are less able to articulate what they have to offer so the business cannot understand the benefits it can get from hiring the individual.
  • Younger people often lack an understanding of what the business represents or of the industry in which the business operates.

These points might not necessarily apply in many cases, and they may not prevent a young person from being a good employee even when they do apply. Experienced HR managers realise this and they understand that lack of experience does not prevent an individual from being a valuable addition to a business.

What businesses lose when they do not bring in young talent

The benefits that a business can lose out on if it does not invest in developing young talent include:

  • Fresh ideas that younger and less influenced people can bring to an organisation.
  • The ability to develop a talent pipeline without becoming obsessed with hiring individuals who already possess highly developed skills.
  • Affordable access to promising individuals who can be developed to suit the needs of the business.
  • Improving brand perception by showing an interest in helping younger people to develop their careers.
  • The energy and enthusiasm that usually comes with youth.
  • The technical awareness and ability that most young people possess and which can help businesses to embrace technology.

How to embrace targeting young talent

Successful HR professionals know that businesses that have previously been reluctant to hire young people and develop their talent can embrace the opportunity to do so. With this in mind, there are several steps that businesses can take to make them more attractive to young people who are looking for an exciting career. These steps include:

  • Seeking out new talent by going out to universities to communicate with students and discuss the opportunities that the business can provide.
  • Adopting technology such as social media that graduates understand and are happy to engage with.
  • Developing or modifying roles so that they are more attractive to the younger generation.
  • Making application processes digital and simple to complete.

High performing HR teams help businesses to embrace talent development. This includes enabling businesses to see potential and to not necessarily be looking for the ideal candidate. The most important thing is to find an individual who can be developed to provide real value and is a good fit for the culture within the business.

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